Jeffersonville, IN asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Indiana

Q: Indiana expunction and firearms rights

In 2022 I was granted I.C. 35-38-9-4 expunction for dealing meth. My FBI criminal history as of 12-12-23 shows A SEARCH OF THE FINGERPRINTS PROVIDED BY THIS INDIVIDUAL HAS REVEALED NO PRIOR ARREST DATA AT THE FBI. Indiana's criminal history report shows my dealing charge with EXPUNGEGED. I'm being denied firearms from the FBI. When challenged the FBI the response is referring to the Indiana dealing meth charge that has been expunged of imprisonment of more then a year under 18 USC 921-A-20 and 18 USC 922-G-1. Under Indiana's expungement I am a proper person. I have pulled up Attorney General Curtis hill official opinion#2019-6 and Henry Flores official opinion update 7-1-2023. Both stating firearms rights are restored following an I.C. 35-38-9 expungement. I paid Keffer law $1000 to fight this. Brad told me (what I feel is a bunch of BS) The FBI sent Brad the same response as they did me (stated above) saying my expungement must state specifically that my firearm are restored

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on the information provided, it seems there may be an erroneous denial of your firearm rights by the FBI. A few key points:

- Indiana Code 35-38-9-4 expungement restores your rights, including firearm rights, as you would be considered a "proper person" under state law. This is confirmed by the AG opinions you cited.

- The FBI's response referring to the federal prohibitions in 18 USC 921 and 922 does not seem to apply here, since you received a full expungement under state law. The expunged conviction should not trigger a federal prohibition.

- There is typically no requirement for an expungement order itself to specifically state firearm rights are restored. The restoration of rights, including 2nd Amendment rights, is assumed by the expungement action under Indiana law.

I would recommend escalating the issue by appealing again to the FBI and providing copies of the Indiana AG opinions and expungement statute. Explain why their denial does not seem legally valid given the state expungement. If they insist their position is correct, you may need to consult a federal gun rights restoration lawyer to file an appeal. But based on the materials provided, it does seem your firearm rights should be restored under both Indiana and federal law.

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